Micha in China

Joshua Project has identified the Micha only in China






Largest Religion

Main Language



The Micha have been officially counted as part of the Yi nationality in China. It is uncertain how they relate to other Yi groups. Because of their similar names, it is possible the Micha were once related to the Michi people who live much farther east in Chuxiong Prefecture of Yunnan.


At the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), eleven different Yi tribes were listed in the records of the region around Dali. Ralph Covell notes, "When the Mongols under Genghis Khan defeated the Dali kingdom ... some of the Yi nationalities were dispersed throughout Yunnan. The area about the River of Golden Sand [Yangtze] to the north remained unconquered, and tribal kings remained in power there until as late as 1727. Even after the Manchus, with great savagery, suppressed the tribes and put their kings to death, thousands of [Yi] refused to acknowledge defeat and withdrew across the River of Golden Sand to the Daliangshan area. Here they remained in haughty arrogance, resisting Chinese control, at least in the high mountains, until the advent of the People's Republic of China. The Yi of Yunnan accepted Chinese rule and gradually, with periodic resistance, adopted Chinese culture and many features of Chinese religion."


The Mitcha (Micha) were mentioned in an early book as one of only two people groups in Yunnan that the Yi were willing to marry, the other being the Bai. In turn, the Micha refused to intermarry with anyone except the Bai and the Lisu. Today most Micha are hard working agriculturists who prefer to be left alone in their mountain community. Many of their young people prefer to move to the cities and towns where they can earn more money - and to return home periodically for festivals and special occasions.


After living alongside the Han Chinese and Bai for many centuries, the Micha have absorbed many of the religious practices of their neighbors, including aspects of Daoism, Buddhism, and ancestor worship. Little remains of the traditional polytheistic beliefs of the Micha, although the elderly still worship various spirits including the spirit of the village which they believe resides in the largest tree near the community.


The Micha are believed to be an unreached people group with no known Christians, although there is a small smattering of Three-Self (government sanctioned) churches throughout the area, as well as some Catholic influence. The Micha, however, being a small and isolated group, are not exposed to Christian witness.

Profile Source:   Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Micha (Mee-cha)
People Name in Country Micha
Population in China 32,000
World Population 32,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Mitcha, Nanjian
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Tibeto-Burman, other
People Name General Micha (Mee-cha)
Ethnic Code MSY50i
People ID 18593
Country China
Region Northeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country More than 1,000 people belonging to the Micha ethnic group live in areas in and around Aliwu and Santaishan in Nanjian County of Yunnan Province. The Micha live at the northern end of the Ailao Mountains, southeast of the ancient town of Dali..   Source:  Operation China, 2000

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Enthologue Language Map

Ethnolinguistic map from University of Texas or other map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Miqie (32,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Miqie 32,000
For Primary Language: Miqie

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
30.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
65.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
5.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Profile Source: Operation China, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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